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NatureMapping Program

Step 5: Describe Your Site

Site Description Classification


The site description classification is a way to organize the habitats in your monitoring site into broadly defined Site Description Categories. It is a way to describe overall land use at each monitoring site. These distinctions will help us sort monitoring sites according to important land use designations as we analyze your data. It also simplifies the habitat codes.

Let's say you are monitoring wildlife at a park. Answer these questions. Where is this park located? Is it in a city or is it in the rural landscape? Who manages the park? Is it a city, county, state, or federal park? Are you monitoring along a corridor?

Urban City Park
along a Trail Corridor
That is, are you hiking on a trail, canoeing a river, or traveling along a road or railroad while you are monitoring in the park? Once you have answered these questions, you can begin describing your monitoring site according to the site description categories listed on the Site Description Categories page. NatureMapping allows you to pick UP TO THREE Site Description Categories. For our example, here is what you might choose:

Site Descriptions for a monitoring site: Site Description 1: Urban; Site Description 2: City park, recreational, or wildlife area; and Site Description 3: Trail Corridor

Now, all you have to do is determine the types of habitats that occupy the area that you monitor. Your habitats may be several, such as Upland Deciduous Forest, Maintained Parkland, and River/Stream, all within the park. Iowa NatureMapping allows you to choose UP To 3 distinct habitat types for your site, including Highly Dominant, Medium Dominant and Least Dominant. See Defining Habitats for rules on defining habitats for monitoring sites and Habitat Codes for a list of habitats. To practice choosing habitats for your sites, see Selecting Your Monitoring Site Habitats.